Turkish and US-backed Syrian rebels have captured a key ISIS border crossing

syria map

Reuters

Syrian rebels, backed by Turkish and US forces, have captured the ISIS border city of Jarablus in northern Syria. 

The capture of Jarablus serves as a major blow to ISIS, as the city functioned as a funnel for foreign fighters and supplies leading from Turkey into Syria, The Washington Post reports

The capture of Jarablus comes after Turkey vowed on Monday to “completely cleanse” ISIS from its border following a suicide bombing at a wedding in the Turkish city of Gaziantep on Saturday. 

The bombing is thought to have been carried out by ISIS, although the group has not yet claimed responsibility. The bombing killed 54 people and was aimed at a Kurdish wedding, likely in an attempt to further provoke hostilities between Turkey’s Kurdish minority and the central government. 

“Daesh should be completely cleansed from our borders and we are ready to do what it takes for that,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a news conference in Ankara, using an Arabic name for the group.

Turkey followed through with its vow to expunge ISIS from its border by launching a large scale offensive against the city of Jarablus today. The BBC reports that the Turkish military destroyed 70 targets around Jarablus with artillery strikes and another 12 targets by air strikes. 

Following the strikes, Turkish tanks and special forces, also backed by US-led coalition airpower, moved into northern Syria and against Jarablus. 

This is a developing story. 

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